Colton Hayden, who’s interested in biology and computers, looks to join the health care industry as a radiologist in the future. It checks the boxes on his list for what he wants in a job.
“Radiology has been probably the most appealing looking career option that I have found,” he said.
“I really decided for it in eighth grade — because my mom, who was my teacher at the time, had this thing where she was really focused on helping us decide what careers we wanted to get into because when you get into high school at McCracken, you get to choose a career path.”
The 18-year-old McCracken County High School student said he’s looking at attending Murray State University to study pre-med biology. He then wants to go on to medical school, and later become a radiologist and help people.
“I’m pretty set on radiology, but if I had to choose another thing I’d probably go into computer sciences, and do something with coding probably or hardware with computers, because technology is really interesting to me and I can still help people doing that,” he said.
Hayden, son of Natalie Hayden and Michael Hayden, of Fancy Farm, is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week.
Every Tuesday, The Sun publishes articles on area high school seniors who were chosen from a group of nominees for Teen of the Week recognition. Around the end of the school year, a selection committee will name one of these students as Teen of the Year, which carries a $5,000 scholarship. Another student will receive the Inspiration Award and a $1,000 scholarship.
At McCracken County, Hayden has earned a 4.241 weighted cumulative GPA.
He’s heavily involved in athletics for the Mustangs, having lettered in multiple sports in his four years. He’s a member of the football team, powerlifting team and track and field team. He’s also a previous member of the wrestling team.
Hayden said he likes staying in shape and competing.
“I enjoy competing against myself, and also competing against others,” he said. “The track and field aspect is you’re primarily competing against yourself to beat your previous records, but you can also compete against other people — not directly, but you can use them as a motivation to want to practice and get better, throw further and just compete better than what you did last time.”
Hayden singled out track and field as his favorite sports activity. His favorite event is discus. His primary events are discus and shot put, but he will compete in javelin, too, if it’s available at a track meet. If needed, Hayden can also run for the team.
He said discus is not really about strength.
“It’s more about technique, so a little tiny guy can walk into that ring and throw farther than some huge strong dude, if they have better technique,” Hayden said. “I really enjoy that aspect, to where if you put in the work for it, it’s a completely even playing field for every single athlete.”
Hayden said he’s looking forward to college.
He’s currently staying busy with schoolwork, sports, working on scholarships and studying for the ACT, during senior year. He would like to get “top five” in track at state this year for discus, and he’d like to do another run at the state powerlifting meet. He also has the goal of becoming a valedictorian.
By: Kelly Farrell